Adams Family of Cornwall, England

                                                                       The Beginning
                                                                    Click on images to enlarge

                          

In early times our Cornish Forefathers shared a unique history, estranged from the rest of England, settling at the southern 
most peninsular of the Kingdom, shrouded by their ancient Celtic Language. This included the region now part of South Devon.

Cornwall has always held an air of mystique still felt by visitors in modern times, coupled with the highest concentration of 
Prehistoric Celtic Monolythes in England, 2nd only to Wiltshire. It was indeed their isolation and the uniqueness of their 
language that kept them socially isolated from the rest of England and less likelihood of infiltration by genetic strains outside
the County. When an early Cornish ancestor is found, you almost certainly share in a unique People of great antiquity. 

Our Cornish Forefathers are believed to have settled in Briton during the Iron Age around 800BC,  although scholars are 
divided as to their exact origins, believed their ancient cradle lay in Western Europe. They occupied the Western Region of 
Mainland England from Cornwall to the South, Wales to the West  and Scotland to the North, retaining their Linguistic Celtic
Identity and Culture. They were a Matriotic Society and Maternal Naming Patterns still took precedence in the Adams Family 
Baptism Records until the the early 19th Century. 

Coupled with their skills in agriculture, they were also fine workers in tin, gold, metals, which these Western Regions richly 
afforded. Cornwall was then known by the Latin 'Dumnonia' for the Anglo Saxon Word 'Cornweal'.  The Kingdom of Cornwall 
emerged around the 6th Century and included their North West regions, under various Ancient Celtic Kings.  Intermittent 
raids by the Saxons of Wessex over the ensuing centuries led to the defeat of Cornwall in the 9th Century.

Around 924-939 they were cut off from their Northern Cousins by Land when King Athelstan of England, disgusted with many 
of their Tribal Customs, said to include blood sacrifice [animal], fixed Cornwall's Eastern Boundary at the River Tamar on the 
Devon/Cornwall Border. It was later said that this was done to 'purify' Exeter from these 'disgusting people'; 
                                "Exeter was cleansed of its defilement by wiping out that filthy race",
However many Cornwealians persisted in the southern areas of Devon near the Cornwall border. They were left under their 
own Dynasty and 'Pagan' Customs while their Celtic cousins in Scotland and Wales remained untouched.  This isolation is 
believed to have been responsible for the difference in the Celtic dialects in Scotland & Wales.  

After the Norman conquest most of the land in Cornwall was seized and transferred into the hands of a new Norman Aristocracy
although a citing from the 15th Century writing by William of Worcester, 'Cadoc', the last survivor of the Cornish Royal Line
 at the time of the Conquest in 1066 was appointed as 1st Earl of Cornwall by William. In 1336, Edward, 'the Black Prince', was
named 'Duke' of Cornwall.

Christianity was adopted with fervour around the beginning of the Millennium, although their Pagan superstition still lay in the
background*.

Many early Church Records are recorded under the name ADAM, ADDAM, ADDAMS, ADDAMES, the ancestral names for 
ADAMS.  The first considered 'ADAMS' entry found so far in Cornwall was a Petition to Edward, Prince of Cornwall 
[aka the Black Prince] in 1375/6 by John Adam of Cornwall regarding lands seized in Metherill [near Calistock, Devon], the 
Petitioner pleading as the rightful legal heir.
                                                           Click to enlarge. 
                                                                             National Archives Kew: Page 1 illegible - Page 2 displayed [Click on image to enlarge] - Latin..

The very first known Parish Record relating to the name in Cornwall was just following the Reformation in the marriage of 
Johan Adam, daughter of John Adam to Harry Wayren at LEZANT [4m S of Launceston] on the 12th October 1539 [LDS].
As normally the venue for marriage was native to the Bride, we might assume that Lezant was home to her father John Adam
who is assumed  to have been born in the late 1400's.


                             Ironically, it was at this very village of LEZANT, where our own ADAMS Ancestral Journey Begins.

                                                                                         

  


 
                                                                                   Trivia


* Note: Pagan Customs Persist in Cornwall well into the 16th Century;

                                                                            Physicans vs Astrologers 

                 Report concerning the Twin sons of Richard ADAMS at Milbrook [17.7 Miles SSE of Lezant] dated 1579.

     "..... It chanced about twenty yeeres sithence, that one Richaurd, wife to Richard Adams of this towne, was delivered
      of two male children, the one ten weekes after the other, who lived until baptisme, & the later hitherto:
      Which might happen, in that the woman bearing twinnes, by some blow, slide, or other extraordinary accident,
      brought forth the first before his time, and the later in his due season. Now, that a childe borne in the seventh moneth 
      may live, both Astrologers and Phisicions doe affirme, but in the 8. [i.e. 8th month] they deny it;  and these are their
      reasons:

      The Astrologers hold, that the child in the mothers wombe, is successiuely gouerned every moneth, by the seven Planets,  
      beginning at Saturne: after which reckoning, he returning to his rule the 8 [th], month, by his dreery influence, 
      infortunateth any birth that shall then casually befall: whereas his succeeder Jupiter, by a better disposition worketh 
      a more  beneficiall effect. 

      The Phisicions deliver, that in the seuenth moneth, the childe, by course of nature, turneth it self in the mothers belly;  
      wherefore, at that time, it is readier (as halfe loosed) to take issue by any outward chance. May, in the eighth, when it 
      beginneth to settle againe, and as yet retayneth some weakeness of the former sturring,  it requireth a more forcible 
      occasion, &  that induceth a slaughtering violence. 

      Or if these coniecturall reasons suffice not  to warrant a probability of the truth, Plynies authority in a stranger case,  
      shall presse them farther: for hee writeth, that a woman brought a bed of one childe in the seventh moneth, in the 
      moneths following, was also delivered of  twinnes."
 
Source: The Survey of Cornwall And an epistle concerning the excellencies of the English tongue